Just before plenary, women from the Labour Assembly group channelling something of the spirit of Pankhurst stood in the sunshine on the steps of the Senedd to mark International Women's Day which falls later this week. So it was entirely appropriate that on rushing back just in time for the start of business that Sandy Mewies AM was the first to ask Carwyn Jones a question. She was asking what the Welsh Government was doing to show support for International Women's day? According to the FM , the Welsh Government is supporting some 34 events throughout Wales. And the Welsh Government's programme for Government commits to making sure that 40 percent of Public Appointments are filled by women. Suzy Davies wanted to know what encouragement is given to young women to be taught entrepreneurial skills and Jocelyn Davies followed this up with a question that seemed to send a cold shiver down the Ministerial spine!
Questions from the party leaders followed thick and fast. The leader of the Opposition Andrew RT Davies seemed exercised by delays in Welsh Government appointments to the boards of Community Health Councils. He was concerned that there had been delays in the appointment process that he believed could hamper CHC's playing their important role in the NHS. The FM seemed unruffled and displayed a Buddha like serenity in the face of RT's angst.
Next up , the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams. Ooh and there followed a storm of maths and statistics that forced the FM to reach for that ultimate of ultimate deterrents. His blue ring binder ! As we know , once the blue ring binder has been brought out from under the lectern you'd better take cover.
Kirsty was concerned at the truancy rates in our schools. It was her opinion that the Welsh Government wasn't doing its bit to keep those straying pupils firmly where they belonged. Tethered to their desks. Never mind shopping trips with parents or trips to the Azures in term time. Dear me no ! Figures were flung around with admirable nonchalance A 700 percent here and a zero tolerance there. The ring binder came into its own.
But this week , it was Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood who managed to land the killer blow on the FM. Talking about how living standards had fallen further in Wales than the rest of the UK, she claimed that it was members of the Labour party who were saying that the Welsh Government could be doing more to shield the people of Wales from the cold chill of austerity wafting down the M4 and over the Severn Bridge. And which MP did she say were responsible? You'll never guess!! Mind you , it would appear to be a quote taken out of context from one of our esteemed daily publications